Comments and Testimonies from 2017 Astronomy Summer Camp Students
Carrie Li, Senior, a Siemens semi-finalist in 2017 and Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar in 2018 Doing research at UF and Arizona has been such an integral part of my high school experience! At UF, everyone would do weekly presentations and get direct feedback from Dr. Ge and his team on their respective projects. Every day at lunch, we would also be able to bounce ideas off each other and Dr. Ge in a friendly setting. Both were extraordinarily helpful for keeping our research innovative and on topic while also honing our communication skills. At Arizona, I got the chance to visit and take data at Mt. Lemmon Observatory. Not only was I able to see fantastic sights and do some hiking on our way up the mountain, I was able to take data using the UF-operated telescope and do up-close observations of the beautiful stars. At Arizona, I also learned sophisticated Python programming to track stellar movements with experienced people in the field. I will always remember the fantastic memories I made and interesting skills I learned as part of this wonderful research experience. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in astronomy research!
Brian Wu, Sophomore, a Siemens semi-finalist in 2017 There's no better place to experience the beauty of astronomy firsthand than Dr. Jian Ge's training camp in Tucson, AZ. Students follow a rigorous curriculum of astronomy knowledge as well as research training over the course of 10 days. Some of the general astronomy topics a student might be exposed to include the formation of the universe, stars, and the behavior of light. Research training topics include mastering Python, telescope image processing, analysis of spectra, as well as basic operation of a telescope. During the 10-day period, students will be invited to drive up Mt. Lemmon to visit the Mt. Lemmon Skycenter, where the University of Florida's 50-inch telescope, as well as the public Schulman 32-inch telescope, are located. Students will receive training in order to operate the 50-inch telescope remotely, as well as observe distant objects using the 32-inch telescope. However, a visit to Mt. Lemmon is not complete with a hike across treacherous Windy Point, where you'll find some amazing views of the San Catalina Mountains. I attended Dr. Ge's training session in Tucson, Arizona in July 2017. There, I was able to meet many new friends, and receive crucial training that directly related to my subsequent research at the University of Florida. Not only that, I was also able to learn the basics of telescope operation from Dr. Ge himself, as well as witness the repair of a telescope component. Most importantly, Dr. Ge's closing talk regarding his life as a scientist was especially touching and humbling to hear. My experience in Tucson was truly one of the best in my lifetime. I was able to meet many new friends, and learn many crucial science research skills at the same time in a stress-free and fun way. Most importantly, this experience taught me several major things in life that I've since walked away with and will remember for the rest of my life. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Dr. Ge, his assistants, as well as everybody else who participated in the July 2017 program.
Raymond Li, Junior, a Siemens semi-finalist in 2017 I learned a lot about astronomy and modern research practices at Dr. Ge's summer camp. I really enjoyed the whole experience, since we got to experience what being a real astronomer was like, and we got to use state of the art technology to do astronomy. My favorite parts of the trip were going to the mirror lab to look at the world's largest telescope mirror in production and the view through the 32-inch telescope at distant objects. I had a lot of fun there and made many new friends. I would definitely recommend Dr. Ge's summer camp for anyone interested in astronomy!
Anna Huang, Junior, a Siemens semi-finalist in 2017 The Arizona summer camp was a great experience to expand my knowledge of astronomy, as well as meeting new people around the world. The lectures and the tours were especially informative and I would definitely recommend to other students!
Brandon Lo, Senior, a Siemens semi-finalist in 2017 Even though I did not have a background in astronomy, Dr. Ge’s summer camp at Tucson, Arizona provided me a great opportunity to branch out into a field of science I had never before explored. The concepts I learned in physics, astronomy, and even computer science helped me with my research project over the summer, and will most likely help throughout my college experiences as well.
Bailey Tucker, Sophomore, a Siemens semi-finalist in 2017 Although I have made many strides in learning astronomy and programming, I find that my work ethic has changed most dramatically. After seeing my numerous hours of work come to fruition, I gained a sense of accomplishment. Today, I am more efficient and I feel restless when being unproductive. My friend always used to say, “Work smarter not harder” in astronomy we do both.
Andy Zhu, Junior, a Siemens semi-finalist in 2017 The time I spent at Arizona was uniquely special, as it was a break from the usual lab work. Instead of waking up and going to the lab, I was waking up next to friends and learning about the operation of a large-scale telescope. At night, we would bond over games, talking, and food. It was truly an amazing experience.